Hives & Honeycomb
As it is in the Beginning
Honey starts as flower nectar collected by bees, which gets broken down into simple sugars stored inside the honeycomb. The design of the honeycomb and constant fanning of the bees' wings causes evaporation, creating sweet liquid honey. Honey's colour and flavour varies based on the nectar collected by the bee.
Info Source: honey.com
When a bee finds a good source of nectar it flies back to the hive... it shows its friends where the nectar source is by doing a dance which positions the flower in relation to the sun and hive. This is known as the ‘waggle dance.’
One bee has to fly about 90,000 miles – three times around the globe – to make one pound of honey. Honey bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey. Honey bees pollinate an estimated one-third of all the food crops we consume.
A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
It can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour. Honey bees have been producing honey in the same way for 150 million years!
When Bees change jobs, they change their brain chemistry.
Bees are hardwired to do certain jobs. Scout bees, which search for new sources of food, are wired for adventure. Soldier bees, discovered in 2012, work as security guards their whole life. One percent of all middle-aged bees become undertakers—a genetic brain pattern compels them to remove dead bees from the hive. But most amazingly, regular honeybees—which perform multiple jobs in their lifetime—will change their brain chemistry before taking up a new gig. Source of info: mentalfloss.com.
Honey bees collect pollen and nectar as food for the entire colony, and as they do, they pollinate plants. Nectar stored within their stomachs is passed from one worker to the next until the water within it diminishes. At this point, the nectar becomes honey, which workers store in the cells of the honeycomb.
Queen of the Castle
The term "queen bee" is typically used to refer to an adult, mated female (gyne) that lives in a honey bee colony or hive; she is usually the mother of most, if not all, of the bees in the beehive. Queens developed from larvae selected by worker bees.
A hive with a queen is called “queenright”, a hive without a queen is called “queenless”. Queen bees are vital to a colony because the are the only bee capable of laying fertilized eggs. This means that worker bees are able to convert any young worker bee larvae to a queen should they need to (an emergency queen).
Flight of the Queen Bee
The only other time a Queen bee flies is when the colony becomes too large and splits into two colonies. During the Swarming Season, the colony produces a second queen and when she leaves the hive, she flies with a swarm of worker bees. ... In all social bee species the queen flies in order to mate.
Swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees. In the prime swarm, about 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen. This swarm can contain thousands to tens of thousands of bees.